Since graduating from the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in 2008, theatre, film and television actor Edward Akrout has earned global recognition for his ability to craft complex characters across multiple mediums.
On the film front, Arkout will soon star alongside Terence Stamp, Max Irons, Barry Pepper and Samantha Barks in the George Mendeluk directed film, “Bitter Harvest”. Set for a fall 2015 release, the film is an epic romance story set against the backdrop of political upheaval in 1930s Ukraine.
In addition to be a noted actor, Arkout is also an artist and humanitarian. Showcasing his paintings and other works created in Paris, New York and London at Café Royal and Hoxton while providing aid to the people of Nepal following the country’s recent earthquakes.
AXS/Examiner recently spoke with Edward Akrout about his films, art and career.
What attracts you to a role or script?
The first thing I look for is a good story. I’m always attracted to roles in a very instinctive way. After having read the part I know relatively quickly whether it’s something I want to do or not.
What can you tell me about your roles in the upcoming film “Bitter Harvest”?
“Bitter Harvest” is a historical drama set in the turbulent period when Stalin and the Soviets invaded Ukraine. The story surrounds the struggle of a young artist ensnared in the bourgeoning communist force and fight for survival. In the film, I portray a surrealist contemporary artist called Professor Temchuk. I challenge the lead character Yuri (played by Max Irons) and his artistic sensibilities. Encouraging him to stand up for his beliefs and ultimately, not surrender to communist rule.
What do you most enjoy about the acting process?
Acting with other actors and feeding off their energy. There’s always a great feeling (whether on the stage or set) that’s created when actors connect and play off each other.
You graduated from the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. What was the biggest thing you learned from the experience?
At LAMDA, everything is about ensemble work and is a collaborative effort. It’s similar to being part of a large family. It has taught me the best work ethics possible: don’t expect any special treatment and always think of how you can contribute to the group. Remember that everyone is there for the same reason. To create the finest quality of work possible and to have a great time doing it.
Did you always know that you wanted a career in art and entertainment?
I wasn’t able to grasp the concept that I could make my dreams a reality, let alone a profession until my teenage years. Growing up, I was passionate about the stage and profoundly marked by certain films that I watched. In my childhood, I wasn’t very happy at school and the only two things that kept me going was art and theatre. I found it to be my escape and I didn’t want to return to the real world.
In addition to being an actor you’re also an artist. How would you describe your art?
My work consists of contemporary abstract paintings and drawings.
As an artist, where you do you find your inspiration?
Filling my life with rich emotions and feelings; remaining connected to my inner child and preserving a sense of wonder.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I’ve just finished filming the long-running and hugely popular British (ITV) show, “Midsomer Murders”. I’ve been playing politician Damian Lamerat in the 18th season of the murder mystery series. On a personal note, I’ll be returning to Nepal in the coming weeks, taking further supplies to Kathmandu where I’ve been assisting an orphanage. Professionally, I have two upcoming art exhibitions of my work in London; along with reading scripts and selecting my next projects for film, television and the stage.
Is there a bit of advice you could give to someone who may just be starting out with dreams similar to yours?
Believe in your dream. Don’t get upset with those who don’t believe and never listen to their advice or let it bring you down. Being an actor isn’t all about acting. It took me a while to accept and understand that one!